The well known phrase "your mission, should you choose to accept it..." is a signature of the popular television show and movie franchise Mission Impossible. The things they were tasked with accomplishing were truly daunting. While the mission of JumpBunch does not place our coaches in life and death situations by comparison, we believe that what we hope to accomplish truly matters in a way that can influence the lives of children forever.
If you've ever had fun in a class of any kind, I will guarantee you that much of that was because of the leader, teacher, coach, or whatever their title was on that day. It's absolutely true that the fun starts here.
A message we try to send in every JumpBunch class is that instead of saying "I give up" we should say "I'll try again." To learn anything, we must experience failure. In fact, to get really good at something we must fail a lot! Think about the fact that the greatest hitter in baseball history still made an out 60% of the time. Michael Jordan, likely the greatest basketball player of all time, was cut from his team long before he went on to star for the University of North Carolina and Chicago Bulls. Many consider Peyton Manning as one of the best quarterbacks of all time, and he holds the NFL record for most career touchdown passes with 539. However, over the course of that career, he also threw 251 interceptions. His accomplishments, and all athletes who achieve great things, would never be possible if the reaction to failure was anything other than trying again...and again...and again.
Recently we had a call with a group from China that were interested in possibly bringing JumpBunch to their country. During the call they asked a question about how cultural differences might need to be considered when evaluating how the program might work there or in other countries. Our CEO, Tom Bunchman, began his reply by pointing out something that is so simple yet so powerful. Kids are kids. At the core of it all, if we let them, kids all have the same basic needs and desires wherever they may be.
The JumpBunch program began with preschool kids, primarily ages 3-6, and this remains our core focus today. In many of the same schools we were in during the early days, it became obvious there was a lack of programming for toddlers, so our offering expanded to meet a need that is still under served today in many markets. Over time offerings were made available to school age kids too. In all of these cases, the JumpBunch program had unique, age specific curriculum that introduced kids to sports and fitness through a new activity each and every week. The kids absolutely love the anticipation of what fun things they will get to do each week when the class rolled around. These cores programs remain the anchor of JumpBunch, and our name has become synonymous with fun introduction to sports and building healthy habits early!
JumpBunch franchisees across the country are preparing for a "golden" opportunity with this year's Summer Olympics. For a program like ours that showcases a new sport every week, an event like the Olympics where so many varied sports are on display is perfectly aligned with our message. In all Jumpbunch towns there will be Olympic themed classes, camps, and birthday parties all aimed at embracing the vast options our kids have to simply get active with sports and activities that are super fun!
One of the primary goals of JumpBunch is to introduce kids to healthy habits early and often. However, the reality is that healthy habits for kids are truly established at home. While it is true that JumpBunch can sometimes be the impetus to focus on more active things at home, it works best as a reinforcement and connection to what parents and families are already doing to have fun, be active, and live healthy while together. At the end of the day it really doesn't matter which comes first as long as the end result reflects what our tagline says...Sports. Smiles. Fitness. Fun!
It is amazing to consider what a child learns, or is capable of learning, in the first 5 years of life. Though much learning for kids simply comes naturally as they physically grow, as parents we have a great deal of influence over what is included, and sadly not included, as a core part of the learning experience. Those choices must be intentional and are a great opportunity, or even responsibility, to positively frame actions and thoughts that impact our children well into adulthood.